Forest fire burns part of Las Baulas National Marine Park

January 29, 2014

Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire in the Las Baulas National Marine Park Monday night. Approximately half of a hectare of the park’s area was burned, according to park rangers.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but authorities believe illegal burning near the park could be to blame.

“We don’t know how it happened,” Park Ranger Bernal Cortéz said. “It seemed really big at night, but firefighters put it out quickly enough that the damage was minimal.”

During the Costa Rican dry season, forest fires are common, particularly in the dry northwestern province of Guanacaste. The park’s fire is one of the first of the forest fire season, which started Jan. 15.

The 2013 dry season was the worst for forest fires in the last 11 years. According to a press release from the National System of Conservation Areas, firefighters battled a total of 163 fires last year, 104 of which were inside national parks. The fires burned 55,610 hectares of land.

Despite the increase in fires, National Commission of Forest Fires Coordinator Diego Román told the Spanish daily La Nación that his organization receives $847,000 less a year than the minimum required to fight fires.

The first draft of a bill for a new Fire Law has sat on the floor of the Legislative Assembly since last January. If passed, the law would mandate a prison sentence between three and 15 years for causing a forest fire. It would also allocate additional funds to fight fires.

This month, the Environment Ministry will finish another draft of the bill to be reviewed by the Legislative Assembly in its final session, which ends April 30.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Brazil arrests eight Vale employees over mining dam disaster
Brazil
339 views
Brazil
339 views

Brazil arrests eight Vale employees over mining dam disaster

Rosa Sulleiro / AFP - February 15, 2019

Brazilian authorities arrested eight employees of mining giant Vale on Friday over a dam collapse at one of its mines…

Off the eaten path: Ristopizza Napolitano A Vit è N’Attim
Dining and Nightlife
651 views
Dining and Nightlife
651 views

Off the eaten path: Ristopizza Napolitano A Vit è N’Attim

William Ayre - February 15, 2019

In late September of 2016, the D’Angelo family moved from Naples, Italy to Playas del Coco, Costa Rica. Now they’re…

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica from the air
Pic of the Day
691 views
Pic of the Day
691 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica from the air

The Tico Times - February 15, 2019

Sometimes it's necessary to take a step back for perspective. But this shot shows what most of us already know:…